These are perfect times for selling your house...or staying put.
New Zealand's surprisingly record-breaking housing market has seen prices in nine regions of the country (Gisborne, Taranaki, Otago, Bay of Plenty, Manawatu/Whanganui, Wellington, Waikato, Canterbury and Auckland) reach record median levels.
One reason advanced for this is the fact most Kiwis have not been travelling and have instead been channelling that travel money into their properties — either preparing it for sale in a high-demand market or improving it for living in and a potential sale sometime in the future.
One way of doing that without breaking the bank — and to maximise chances of improving the value — is by giving your home's exterior a revamp. A coat of paint is one of the most simple, speedy makeovers you can give your home, improving both its appearance and value almost overnight.
Step 1: Research
Rushing into painting never ends well. Approach the job just as a pro would by determining the size and scope of the project. The type of surface – the substrate – may determine the type of paint you use. Some paints can be used across a range of surfaces while others are very specific in their uses. If in doubt, take a photo to show a paint professional in-store.
Step 2: Plan and evaluate
Ultimately, the paint job will only be as good as your prep. At the very least, wash surfaces with soapy water, hose down and dry off. If re-painting window frames and trims, you'll likely be painting over older gloss paint. For best results, sand surfaces thoroughly and dust off before painting.
Flaking paintwork may need to be scraped right back, but it's not always easy to tell if the paint is sound. To test old paint's adhesion, take a sharp blade and cut an X approximately 5cm big through the old paint. Place painter's tape over the cut, push firmly down, then quickly pull off the tape. If any of the cut areas edges have lifted, you will need to scrape and sand back the old paint. Fill any dents or holes in the surface with an exterior-grade filler. For cracks or gaps in areas that may move, such as near doors and windows, you must use paintable acrylic sealants, not silicone, if you wish to paint over it.
To pick the right painters tape for the job visit Bunnings.
Step 3: The right paint
Use only exterior paints and stick with acrylic-based paints – such as British Paints 4 Seasons or Dulux Weathershield; they are easier to work with and clean up. Metal or plastic downpipes may require pre-painting with special undercoats or primers. The paint label will provide coverage information (sq metres per litre); assume all surfaces will require at least two coats.
Step 4: Prepare
Move outdoor furniture and prune or tie back any branches in your way. Use painter's tape to mask off areas that need protection. If using spray equipment, tape plastic sheeting over windows. Ladders will generally suffice for single-storey homes, or you can use trestles and planks. For higher areas, portable scaffold towers are quite simple to set up, use and move.
Step 5: Grab that roller
Look at the forecast before painting – and not just in case of rain, as you shouldn't paint hot surfaces. Wall temperature can vary from the weather temperature and must be above 10°C and below 35°C throughout the process. It's best to switch the areas you are working on as the sun moves so you remain in a shaded area.
Paint from the top down, starting with the gutters, then the fascia (the board under the gutter) and eaves (between the fascia and the wall). The next step is painting the walls. You will require different equipment depending on which type of surface you're painting. For weatherboards, use a small roller, brush or spray. For brick and render, use extra-long nap rollers or a sprayer. Tackle trims and windows last, making sure the windows are open so they don't get glued shut. Leave enough drying time between coats. Use the information on the paint tin as a guide.
Step 6: Cleaning up
Don't let wastewater from waste paint or gear run down drains or the gutter. Do it over the lawn or a garden area, then water it well afterwards. Use a brush to work as much paint as possible from the trays or pots back into the tin, then use newspaper or absorbent kitchen towel to wipe out the bulk of the residual paint. Finally, rinse with clean water, wiping out as you do so.
Prior to 1970, many paints contained lead – so care needs to be taken when sanding or stripping if lead-based paints may be present. Any homes built prior to 1990 with fibre-cement cladding will likely contain asbestos. Asbestos fibres may be present in weatherboard or sheets on walls, eaves, fascia, gable ends and the like. Avoid sanding, scraping or damaging these materials.
- Invest in quality brushes and rollers — you'll get a better finish, more even paint distribution and you won't be stopping to pick loose bristles and roller fluff from the painted surface
- When using rollers, use the right nap length for the surfaces you're painting and the paint you're applying. The nap is the fibre length – a longer nap roller sleeve is used for rough surfaces and matt paints while a shorter nap and foam covers are used for semi-gloss and gloss finishes, and smoother surfaces.
- Using a spray unit will speed up painting over larger surfaces. However you may still need to revert to rollers and brushes for smaller and fiddly spots.
- Pro tip: Alternate between a pair of brushes, leaving one in a bucket of water, to keep you on track. If you need to leave your painting for a lunch break, or even overnight, you can seal brushes and smaller rollers in larger-sized zip-lock bags. Just squeeze out any excess air before you seal them.
To buy your paint accessories visit bunnings.co.nz/paint-accessories.
Look for a scheme that plays to your home's era and features:
- Traditional: Harking back to the heritage homes of yesteryear, traditional colours are warm and earthy; creams and milky taupes pair neatly with sandstone.
- Classic modern: Think Hamptons-style elegance – the classic colour scheme of greys, bright whites and accents of black or navy works beautifully on homes of any age.
- Contemporary: Designed to highlight hero architectural features, contemporary is all about high-contrast hues and the occasional pop of bold and brash colour.
- Tip: Look locally, draw inspiration from neighbouring homes and check out colour schemes of houses similar to yours.
For top advice, check out our videos or go in-store to speak to one of our experts.
For more easy D.I.Y. paint projects visit Bunnings advice page www.bunnings.co.nz/diy-advice/paint